'Candy: A Novel'
By: Mian Mian
(Paperback / 279 Pages / Back Bay Books / ISBN: 0316563560 / $13.95)
Description: An international literary sensation - now available for the first time in English translation - 'Candy' is a harrowing tale of risk and desire, the story of a young Chinese woman forging a life for herself in a world seemingly devoid of guidelines.
Verdict:This book was a sensation in China, because it depicts for the first time the youth drug scene in that country. The main character of the book left her family at a very young age and lives a kind of hippy life in different cities in China. She jumps from lover to music to drugs in an unending circle, looking for some happiness. This novel is a kind of diary but, unfortunately, it has no plot. As a matter of fact, the author added a number of scenes to the book after the first edition. It should be easy to add another hundred pages. Into the bargain, it is a magnified example of what an author should not do: dozens of pages of expressions of her emotions. But that is not the aim of art (writing). A writer should arouse the interest and the emotions of the reader, not express his own. After a few chapters this novel becomes boring. One litany of lamentations is enough. One can feel sorry for her, but one does the same when one sees real junkies in the street.
Reviewed By James Dudley